June Walnut Ridge Council agenda packed from websites to weed

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – From websites to weed, tonight’s Walnut Ridge City Council meeting appears to have a busy agenda.

The meeting will be streamed live on NEA Report beginning at 6 p.m. 

Here is the new business as sent to media outlets:

III.       NEW BUSINESS                  
A.     Website Update (Discussion)
*     The City website needs updated and the existing contract has apparently expired.

B.     Transfer “Community Center budget” to “Economic Development”
*     Originally the 2017 budget allowed $9,000.00 to go toward repairs and upkeep of the Community Center. Since the school now owns the property in its entirety, I’m asking for that money to be transferred to the economic and industrial development line item.

C.     Resolution to approve an increase in the Material line item for Street Department
*      With the amount of work the street department has been able to complete this year, 60.8% of the materials budget has already been spent and a few additional percent has payment due for items already used, but not paid for in the month of May. We are asking for an additional $25,000.00 to be designated from the street department checking account balance for materials. We are also asking that the specific name of the line item be changed from “Materials” to “Materials and Contract Labor”. With some of the drainage projects under way and scheduled, along with the widening that need done on a section of NE 2nd Street, this would allow us to use independent contractor as needed.

D.     Ordinance 803-15 Bucket Brigade
*    Minor ordnance change requested to clarify starting and stopping times and where people can stand when a [permit has been issued.

E.      Amend Ordinance #386 to increase Planning Comm. members to seven (7)
*      By increasing the number of Commissioners appointed, it will be easier to have a quorum at meetings, plus the Commission will provide for a wider range of input..

F.      Update on Garbage Carts Policies (Jon Walter-Discussion)
*      Carts  are arriving earlier than expected. If possible we hope to have an ordinance prepared on the new rules and regulations for use with the roller carts scheduled for distribution to residents in early July. At the very least an update will be provided.

G.     Medical Marijuana (Discussion Only)
*      This is to update the Council regarding inquiries that have been made for both cultivation facilities and dispensary.

H.     Community Growth Preparation
(Discussion Commercial Sewer and Water expansions)
*      With an ever increasing amount of interest from prospective business, this discussion will focus on considerations of water and/or sewer expansions to certain commercial areas.

I.        Country Club Lease to return property to pre-lease condition (Discussion)
*      Since the Country Club closed, the Airport Commission has voted to return the property back to pre-lease conditions, which would allow the acreage to be used for farming operations, or an industrial site. Since the industrial park property is deeded to the City of Walnut Ridge, I feel as though the council should reflect their thoughts on the action in the minutes.

J.       Police Dept. Comp-Time – Elimination
*      With a small department the size of ours, the use of comp-time can lead to serious staffing issues if and when comp-time would be combined with vacation time. With the department using comp-time, we don’t see an accurate figure on the budget line item for salary, since comp-time is being calculated as an expense.  I believe it is in the best interest of the City to pay overtime for the police department, which is how the fire department is done.. The money is allocated in the budget, to cover the current cost, but I wanted to discuss the reasoning behind the policy change with the council and enter it officially in the minute.

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